Beast Mode Solo Squash Routine

Develop improved ball control and concentration with this solo squash routine designed for competitive, ambitious club players.

11 May 2023 / 3-Min Read / Translate

For those that prefer a visual presentation, there is the video version of the solo squash routine embedded at the bottom of this article.

I call the solo routine I am about to explain to you "BEAST MODE". It uses some of the most common solo drills, woven into a challenging routine.

As with many of my routines, there are two core drills that you alternate with. I designed it like that to keep the routine physically demanding and also to allow you to improve your concentration.

In future videos, I will show you how to take each drill to the next level, using targets and other ideas, but this is just the basic version.

Before we get started, let me quickly clarify some things.

1. This routine is NOT for beginners, improvers, newcomers, novices or even recreational club players. It is for ambitious, competitive club players. Hopefully, just like yourself.

2. Heat up properly before you start. Remember, you should be sweating BEFORE you even hit the ball.

3. There is a free poster available for you to download and print to help you follow along with the routine.

4. And lastly, wear your squash goggles. Yes, even for solo drilling

Mega Set 1

I start with 50 side-to-side shots. I am trying to keep the ball in the service box width.

Phillip Marlowe performing the side-to-side solo squash drill

Then 50 straight drives on the forehand.

Again, I am trying to keep the ball within the service box width AND trying to make the ball come off the back wall.

Phillip Marlowe performing the forehand straight drives solo squash drill

Then back to 50 side-to-side shots. Remember, try to keep the ball within the service box width.

Onto the 50 backhand straight drives.

It's better to focus on control and accuracy than power.

Phillip Marlowe performing the backhand straight drives solo squash drill

That's one complete set.

Visual summary of Mega Set 1

I do that two more times.

When I finish all three sets, I take a short drink break.

I hold the ball in my left hand to keep it hot.

Phillip. Marlowe holding the ball in his hand in between mega sets

Don't stand still though - walk around a little bit.

Back to work.

Mega Set 2

50 Figure of eights on the volley CP: Prepare early - perhaps early enough to have the racket still, even for a fraction of a second. 50 straight backhand volleys from the middle of the court. CP: Make contact with the ball above the wrist 50 Figure of eights on the volley 50 straight forehand volleys from the middle of the court 50 Figure of eights on the volley 50 straight backhand volleys from the front of the court CP: I try to force myself to make a mistake by hitting the ball tight to the side wall. 50 Figure of eights on the volley 50 straight forehand volleys from the front of the court 50 Figure of eights on the volley 25 straight forehand volleys from the back of the court 50 Figure of eights on the volley 25 straight backhand volleys from the back of the court 50 Figure of eights on the volley 50 straight volleys, 50 corner volleys, 100 triangle volleys, 50 corner volleys and finally 50 straight volleys. CP: I was pleased with this set as I didn't make one mistake. YAY ME. 50 Figure of eights on the volley 100 side to side volleys

CP: Simple swing, early prep., short follow through.

It's not shown here, but I like to finish the last few minutes with a soft touch shot.

You should never walk off court, slump down and get cold.

Well done, you've finished. Have another short drink break.

I'm not sure of the exact time I took, but it was about 35 minutes I believe. My arm was aching and I was really sweating when I finished.

I wasn't hitting the ball as hard as I could, but I was hitting it about 80% my maximum.

It was a tough workout for me, and should be for you too.

If you enjoyed this video, watch the other videos I made about solo squash drills and routines.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or doubts.

Thanks for watching and as always,


One shot that I rarely see at club level is the high defensive counter drop. Let's look at each word to ensure we are clear about its meaning. "High" refers to where it hits on the front wall. High and soft mean you have more time. "Defensive" refers to the fact that you are in some way under pressure. Perhaps that's because the ball is touching the side wall, or you are at full stretch, or even that you are rushed. "Counter" refers in this case to the idea that your opponent has hit a drop shot and you are replying to their drop with another drop. And lastly "drop" refers to the idea of hitting the ball softly and to the front.

So to summarise: You are playing a drop from your opponent's drop, it's difficult for you to hit it and you hit it high to give yourself the best chance of winning the rally. Sounds simple, right? Well, explained like that, it is, but of course in the heat of battle, it's a little harder.

At first glance, it may seem like you are simply giving your opponent a chance to hit a winner. And in some ways you are, but we have all experienced that time when all we needed to do was hit the ball away from our opponent to win the point, and suddenly we doubt ourselves, or worse, we over-tjink it and hit either a tin or a terrible shot.

They have to return the ball in such a way as to limit your options, and the best way to do that is to hit it back in exactly the same way you hit it, i.e. straight down the wall to the back.

A Rally Reset is often signified by a lob, which will take away the attacking player's advantage, but a lob is not the only way to negate those attacking shots.

A male squash player lunges to reach a shot and plays a lob

About to hit a lob? Certainly looks like it.

More To It Than Meets The Eye

Those rallies up and down the wall are fascinating, at least to me. In addition to the obvious attempt by both players to force each other to hit a weaker drive, there is also the psychological battle of "Tightness Supremacy". That's not a proper term, it's just something I invented to describe the situation.

I've written about how the Side Walls Can Be Your Friend Or Your Enemy, and it's true from beginner to World Champion, although the better you get the more comfortable you are with the side walls. That's one of the many reasons why even after a very long break, skilful players can return to the court and still hit tight straight drives off tight straight drives - It's a bit like riding a bike: you never really forget!

I love to encourage my pupils to play condition games, especially the Alley Game, because it teaches players so much about movement, height, variation and concentration. In fact, I would absolutely LOVE a world Championship in condition games, where players play the best of three games: Length Only (first bounce past the short line), Right Alley and Left Alley (Both within the service box width). Do you think the best players would still be the best players? I'm not sure I do.'

Two make sqquash players dancing?

Here are two players NOT playing a serious condition game of squash, and more likely dancing to some imaginary music.

Back To Club Players

A Rally Reset shot is perfect for all levels of players, but the better the squash players, the better the shot has to be - obviously. At club level, a shot that takes away one player's advantage might simply be a deeper-than-usual drive, whereas at higher levels, it almost certainly is a great shot in itself.

A rally reset shot needs to give you time, which is why a lob works so well, or it needs to stop your opponent from volleying. Anything that negates the advantage the player seems to have.

What is important though is the awareness and the decision-making process. Club players need to quickly accept that they are under pressure and play the shot accordingly. Too many club players hit the ball with little or even no intention and consequently play the wrong shot at the wrong time. If you could put the mind of a professional squash player into the body of an amateur club player, that club player would win a lot more matches.

A player about to serve

In many ways, even a service return is a rally reset shot. You are trying to negate the advantage that the server has.

Final Thoughts

Don't be proud, recognise you are under pressure and play a shot that gives you time to recover back to the T and stay in the rally. Learn to become more comfortable with the side walls and be happy rallying up and down the wall until an opening appears.

You don't get extra points for winning the rally quickly, so there's no rush. Attack when the opportunity is there, otherwise wait for the right time.

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